Student athlete values major over professional sports

By Joseph Hernandez

Student Anco Veiga is an international student who uses soccer as a tool to pursue his major in environmental science.

 Veiga believes that his purpose in life is to help the environment. He pursues this through his majoring in environmental science, participating in different clubs and doing the little things like recycling.

 Veiga said he chose environmental science because it was his purpose, the study of the atmosphere, the ocean, the environment and physics.

 He joined different clubs such as the Geography Club and the Geology Club. Veiga is also taking oceanography, which is the study of the ocean, including its physical, chemical and biological features. 

Anything that has to do with the environment, he’s there. His friend, Marcelo Hayne Barboza describes Veiga’s love for the environment the best. “He’s definitely the stereotype of a person that hugs trees. All the time he’s speaking about the environment. All the time he reminds us of the trash and ways to treat the environment better.”

Veiga’s love for nature began two years ago as he began to see the importance of the environment and the beauty of nature. 

“Climate change, pollution and devastation of natural habitats–I felt that I had to do something in order to change that, because if people don’t acknowledge and become aware of those things, we’re going to walk into a very horrible future,” Veiga said.

Veiga is so passionate about the environment and pursuing this career path, that he’s willing to turn down an offer of being  a professional socccer player in order to help the environment.

 He wants to use soccer as a tool to help him get scholarships to different universities.

 Using his ability in sports has always been the plan for him to get ahead scholastically. 

Barboza said Veiga sometimes questions how he has spent his time playing sports.

“He says that it’s his purpose to take care of the planet and this is what touches his heart. The environment is a matter that gets Anco sometimes wondering if the time he spent practicing soccer in his life was even a waste of time,” Barboza said.

Veiga said if he was given the opportunity to study environmental science with a great scholarship, he’d take it because it’s his purpose. He acknowledges that in order to pursue his major, he needs to go to the big universities since they offer it. 

Environmental Science is a new major, so not many universities offer it, but in order to achieve his goal, he would need to work hard, improve his GPA, study and play more soccer to get a scholarship.

In pursuit of his dream, he has been traveling the country going to different schools for his education. He started going to school in the United States when he was 16 years old. He went to high school in Connecticut.

 Veiga said that it was just him and that it can be hard to be an international student. 

“It’s hard because internationals have to pay expensive tuition and come over here to study. We have to play soccer, and we have to work, but not just this. We have to have a great performance. While we have to do everything, other people have their parents to cook food, wash clothes, and help with money. We have to do our stuff,” Veiga said.

Even though Veiga goes through these challenging times, he still has his family’s support, and he’s grateful for that support. 

Veiga said that he’s grateful for his family, he’s grateful to be studying at ELAC, and he’s grateful for his health. 

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